Autumn is coming, and with it all those great comfort foods, like soups and stews. And an important part is beef stock.
Like my Hearty Chicken Stock recipe, we used to make this stuff by the gallons at the CIA. This recipe is a combination of the one I learned at the CIA, and a slightly different one I picked up at Cordon Bleu. So, hopefully, this is the best of both worlds.
There are two secrets to a good stock: One is not to rush the process… Two, add the aromatics only in the last hour of the process. So, if you’ve got about six hours with nothing to do, let’s make some beef stock.
1Put rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450f (235c).
2Evenly brush the tomato paste onto the beef and veal bones.
Chef's Note: This is an important step. You want to brown the tomato paste with the bones to help develop that deep, intense beef flavor.
3Spread beef & veal shanks, in a large roasting pan, and then brown well in oven; turning occasionally, about 1 hour.
4Transfer bones to a large stockpot with the six quarts of water.
Bring to a boil and then immediately bring down to a slow simmer. Occasionally skim the froth that develops on the surface with a fine mesh strainer.
The process of skimming is most intense in the first hour or two.
5Chef's Note: If the roasting pan you used to brown the bones contain good fonds. You might want to use two of the cups of water, add them to roasting pan, straddle pan across 2 burners and deglaze by boiling over high heat; stirring and scraping up brown bits, 2 minutes. Add deglazing liquid to stockpot along with other water.
6Simmer gently, uncovered, skimming froth occasionally, until liquid is reduced to about 8 to 10 cups, 4 to 5 hours.
Chef's Note: Trust me on this one... It might take a bit of time, but the results are soooo much better than boxed versions of stock.
7Chef's Note: Do not rush this process by increasing the heat to assist in the evaporation process. Changing the temperature of the stock will change its flavor, and not in a good way.
8About an hour before you add the aromatics to the pot, take the onions, carrots, and celery, and brown them in a preheated 450f (235c) oven, for about 30 to 45 minutes... remember brown, not blacken.
9Add the browned aromatics (onions carrots, and celery) to the pot, along with the parsley, thyme, salt, and bay leaves, and continue to simmer for one hour... and one hour only.
10Chef's Note: For any stock or broth that you make, remember that veggies give up all they can give in one hour... After that they change and begin releasing sulfur compounds.
11At the end of the last hour, remove stock from heat, and then pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on and then discarding solids.
12Cool stock completely, uncovered, then chill, covered (it will be easier to remove fat when chilled).